Latest on Jesse Puljujarvi Trade Demands, Charlie McAvoy’s Future

The start of the 2019-20 NHL season is looming, with the preseason set to kick off in September. While many rosters are close to being settled, some key players remain either unsigned, unhappy or potentially on the trade block.

One player who could be moved is Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi. According to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, the Oilers were open to moving him late last season if “a proper return” could be found. However, no deal came to fruition.

“MTV also quoted Puljujarvi’s agent, Markus Lehto, saying that the NHL is still Puljujarvi’s top priority, that money isn’t the issue and if it had been, Puljujarvi would have signed with the KHL two months ago,” Staples wrote.new nike nfl jerseys cheap2

While Karpat hasn’t officially made Puljujarvi an offer, the possibility of him signing with a European team could force the Oilers to act on a trade while they still can. Was the MTV report an effort from Puljujarvi’s camp to legitimize the threat? Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal recently brought up a different potential motive:

“I can confirm that at least as of yesterday…no such offer has been forthcoming, nor has there ever been a negotiation. And to be fair to Karpat manager Harri Aho, he didn’t say there had been. But it is surely a coincidence that Aho should make any comment at all. After all, Aho’s son Sebastian Aho is property of the Carolina Hurricanes. And the ‘Canes are one of several clubs thought to be interested in Puljujarvi. How about that, hey?”nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

If the Hurricanes are interested in prying Puljujarvi from Edmonton, the threat of signing with a different league could help get him to Carolina—and possibly at a lower price.

Jake Gardiner Signs 4-Year Hurricanes Contract After 8 Seasons with Maple Leafs

The Carolina Hurricanes announced the signing of former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner on Friday. The 29-year-old’s four-year contract carries an average annual value of $4.05 million.

Drafted 17th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in 2008, Gardiner went to the Maple Leafs via a February 9, 2011, trade before he made the NHL leap.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Gardiner received a promotion before the 2011-12 season and has played his entire eight-year NHL career in Toronto.

Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic provided the following scouting report:1

“Gardiner is a modern NHL defenseman, one who makes his due by moving the puck up ice and he’s one of the league’s strongest in that regard. He’s also one of the league’s best playmakers on the back end and was a key part of what drove Toronto’s elite offense. Very few defenders drive play at both ends of the ice as well as Gardiner does and his presence could be a huge addition to any team’s top four. Gardiner isn’t a No. 1 defenseman but could be a strong complement for years to come. He should have top pair value for roughly the next five years.”

He also wrote that Gardiner was “easily” the best free-agent defenseman available after the San Jose Sharks re-signed Erik Karlsson.

The Maple Leafs felt Gardiner’s loss when he suffered a back injury that kept him out for an 18-game stretch from late February to early April. Toronto went 46-28-8 on the season but only 8-7-3 without him during that span.

The ex-Leaf blueliner posted three goals, 27 assists and a plus-19 last season.

Losing Gardiner only adds to the list of defensive questions Toronto must answer; the Maple Leafs allowed 251 goals last season, more than all but one playoff team.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

As for the Canes, Gardiner should be a big piece of the puzzle in the team’s quest to improve upon its 2018-19 postseason appearance, which included a first-round upset win over the Washington Capitals.

The Canes allowed the sixth-fewest goals in the league, and Gardiner can help to improve that ranking even further under second-year head coach Rod Brind’Amour.

Larkin lifts U.S. past Finland in OT at worlds

Dylan Larkin scored with 1:13 left in overtime and Cory Schneider stopped 24 shots, lifting the United States to a 3-2 win over Finland on Monday at the world hockey championship.

Larkin ended the 3-on-3 overtime, carrying the puck inside the right circle and scoring on a wrist shot that got past Veini Vehvilainen’s blocker. The Finns complained about an open-ice hit that wasn’t ruled a penalty against the U.S. shortly before Larkin scored the game-winning goal.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Brady Skjei scored in the opening minute and Johnny Gaudreau put the Americans up 2-0 midway through the third period. The Finns rallied to tie the game 2-all with Harri Pesonen’s goal in the last minute of the opening period and Niko Ojamaki’s goal in the final minute of the second.

The matchup in Group A featured American center Jack Hughes and Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko, who are expected to be picked No. 1 and 2 overall, respectively, in the NHL draft next month.3

Mark Stone scored with 1.8 seconds left to lift Canada over Slovakia 6-5, prompting furious supporters of the host country to throw coins and other objects on the ice.

The Canadians rallied to win after trailing 2-0 in the first period and 4-2 in the second.

Matus Sukel’s second goal pulled the Slovaks into a 5-all tie midway through the third period, but his teammate, Erik Cernak, was called for tripping with 1:14 left and Stone took advantage. He scored on a wrist shot from the right circle, triggering a celebration on his 27th birthday.

Slovakian fans responded with a chorus of boos, and some emptied their pockets and chucked their spare change onto the playing surface.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Canada improved to 2-1 and dropped Slovakia to 1-2 in Group A.

Russia stayed undefeated in Group B and handed the Czech Republic its first loss, winning 3-0 in Bratislava.

Sergei Andronov scored midway through the first period and Nikita Gusev gave the Russians a 2-0 lead in the middle of the second. Nikita Zaitsev added an empty-net goal late in the game and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with a 23-save shutout.

Sabres’ Pilut out 5-6 months after surgery

Sabres defenseman Lawrence Pilut will miss the start of next season after having surgery to address a shoulder injury.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

The Sabres did not reveal which shoulder was repaired or when Pilut was injured in their announcement Monday. The team said the estimated timetable for recovery is between five and six months.1

Pilut had a goal and five assists in 33 games with the Sabres as a rookie last season. He added four goals and 22 assists in 33 games, including the playoffs, in closing the season with Buffalo’s minor-league affiliate in Rochester.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

The 23-year-old signed with Buffalo as an undrafted free agent a year ago after playing professionally in his native Sweden.

2019 Stanley Cup playoffs: Flames vs. Avalanche series preview, pick

The Flames missed the playoffs last season after making them in 2016-17 for one primary reason: offense. They had a 2.63 goals per game average, ranking them 27th in the league. So GM Brad Treliving got to work. He fired head coach Glen Gulutzan and replaced him with former Carolina coach Bill Peters. He made a blockbuster trade, moving defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the Hurricanes with Micheal Ferland and the rights to Adam Fox for defenseman Noah Hanifin and forward Elias Lindholm. He signed Derek Ryan and James Neal (although the less said about that latter signing, the better).cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

These changes, along with career years from Johnny Gaudreau (99 points) and Matthew Tkachuk (34 goals), helped the Flames to be the league’s third-best offense, at 3.52 goals per game. Their Mark Giordano-led defense was good enough in front of their below-average goaltending to win them the Pacific.2

The Avalanche had a more complicated path to the postseason, clinching their wild-card spot in the last days of the regular season. They did so on the back of goalie Philipp Grubauer, acquired last summer from the Capitals, who went 8-1-2 down the stretch and gave up more than two goals just once in that span. While depth is not a word associated with these Avs, they do boast one of the best lines in hockey when the group is together and healthy. Can they muster up enough pop to keep pace with Calgary?cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog played 841 minutes together at even strength and dominated: 46 goals, a goals-for percentage of 61.33 and a 54.56 scoring chance percentage. But Calgary’s Sean Monahan, Gaudreau and Lindholm were nearly as potent offensively in 823 minutes, with 52 goals, a 59.77 goals-for percentage and 52.56 percent of scoring chances. They were also a little better defensively, thanks in no small part to Lindholm joining up. It’s close, but we’ll still give the nod to MacKinnon’s group.

2019 Stanley Cup playoffs: Bruins vs. Maple Leafs series preview, pick

The Bruins overcame injuries to the majority of their roster — only four players appeared in more than 75 games, and none was a defenseman — to again end up one of the NHL’s top teams, with a 49-24-9 record and 107 points. They were third in goals against (2.59 per game) and 11th in goals (at 3.13) per game, fueled by Brad Marchand’s 100-point season, David Pastrnak’s 38 goals in 66 games and 73 points from David Krejci, matching his career high.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

The Maple Leafs added free-agent prize John Tavares last summer but struggled with consistency this season, especially on defense. They were fourth in the NHL in goals per game at 3.49 but a middling 12th in goals against (3.04). They generate as many shots (33.4) as they surrender (33.1). The Leafs are a 100-point team (46-28-8), and they have a deep forward group and a capable goaltender. But are they good enough defensively to win this war against the rival Bruins?

First line: In the past, we might have skipped to the “Advantage: Bruins” part of this entry, but the line of Patrice Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak was actually a bit less effective than it was in dominating the league last season. Its goals-for percentage dropped form 63.64 to 53.85. Metrics such as expected goals for percentage (56.28) and high-danger shot attempt percentage (54.07) at 5-on-5 dipped as well. Granted, they played 462:16 together compared to 535 minutes in the previous season due to injuries. The Toronto line of Tavares, Mitch Marner and Zach Hyman played 817 minutes together and was outstanding: 60.92 goals-for percentage, 56.82 high-danger shot attempts percentage and 53 goals generated. Basing this strictly on their play this season?1

The Leafs have their greatest advantage at the forward spot. Beyond Marner (94 points) and Tavares (88) is Auston Matthews (73 points in 68 games), who skated with combinations of Andreas Johnsson, Kasperi Kapanen and William Nylander. Nazem Kadri, who was suspended for three games in the playoff series against the Bruins last year, and Patrick Marleau lead the third line. After their top line, the Bruins’ best duo has been Krejci and Jake DeBrusk, who had 27 goals in a breakout campaign. Danton Heinen, Charlie Coyle, Marcus Johansson, rookie Karson Kuhlman and Sean Kuraly (currently injured) can all contribute. Noel Acciari and veteran David Backes, if he plays, are among the grinders.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

As much as the forwards are an advantage for the Leafs, the blue line is an advantage for the Bruins. The depth of this group was on full display through a season of injuries, as only one defenseman (Brandon Carlo) played more than 70 games. It’ll be tested again, as Kevan Miller will likely miss the start of the series. Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy are the top pairing, with Torey Krug (53 points) and Carlo next. Matt Grzelcyk will likely pair with Steven Kampfer, with Miller and John Moore out. For the Leafs, Morgan Rielly (72 points) and veteran (some would say liability) Ron Hainsey form the top pairing, with Jake Muzzin and Nikita Zaitsev as the second duo, followed by Travis Dermott and Jake “minus-5 in Game 7 last year” Gardiner as the other duo.

Evaluating fantasy impact of Erik Karlsson’s trade to San Jose

Over the past four seasons combined, the San Jose Sharks boasted the No. 2 overall defenseman for scoring. Now they have the top two.

Since the 2014-15 season, Brent Burns’ 278 points have only been topped by Erik Karlsson’s 281. The next closest defenseman is Victor Hedman with 220.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

In that same span, Burns and Karlsson are the only two defensemen with more than 100 power-play points (Burns with 106, and Karlsson with 101). The Sharks’ power play just became the scariest in the NHL with that duo on the back end. Between Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Evander Kane, the team has at least three top-end forwards to stack on the man advantage even if injury should befall one of them (cough, cough, 39-year-old Thornton).2

Having two defensemen from the same team top 50 points is unusual, but not too rare. With the uptick in overall league scoring, a couple of teams managed it last season (Toronto, Nashville). But there are previous examples before the scoring bump, including Roman Josi and Shea Weber in 2015-16 and P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov the previous season.

Fifty points is actually a low target for these two defensemen — they averaged 70 points per season for the past four years running. You have to go back to 2005-06, when scoring was up over 6.0 goals per game, to find an example of two defensemen from the same team even topping 60 points: Brian McCabe and Tomas Kaberle for the Toronto Maple Leafs. But that’s a fantastic example to use, as the duo managed the feat by running the second-best power play in the league that season.

Not only will the addition of Karlsson boost the power play, but all boats should be lifted by adding his presence at even strength. Think about it: Most of the time the key offensive players for the Sharks will have at least one of Burns or Karlsson on the ice. The way they join the rush, it’s like having a power play all the time.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

Karlsson remains my first defenseman off the board for fantasy this season (yes, I was OK with it even if he stayed in Ottawa). I had Burns a bit lower, but will move him back into my top three for fantasy, somewhere inside the top 30 picks.

Capitals’ defenseman John Carlson agrees to 8-year, $64M contract

The Washington Capitals and John Carlson agreed to a new eight-year, $64 million contract, the team announced Sunday.

Carlson set career highs with 15 goals and 53 assists in 2017-18 as part of the Capitals’ first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years. He added five goals and 15 assists in the playoff run to Washington’s first championship. Carlson was the highest-scoring defenseman in the NHL during the regular season and playoffs.cheap nfl jerseys from china

“John has been an exceptional and consistent player for our franchise and has blossomed into being one of the top defensemen in the NHL,” Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said. “Defenseman like John are a rare commodity in our League and, at 28 years of age, we feel he is just entering his prime. As a right-handed defenseman, John plays in all key situations and has contributed greatly to our team’s success on the special teams. We are pleased for both parties to have come to an agreement.”

Carlson has spent his entire career in Washington since joining the franchise as a first-round draft pick in 2008. He has been a consistent part of the Capitals’ lineup over the years, appearing in every game in six of his nine NHL seasons.

Carlson has 77 career goals and 256 assists in 608 games. He was an unrestricted free agent after completing a six-year, $23.8 million contract. Carlson’s new deal will put him second on the team in AAV behind captain Alex Ovechkin.94

“His value is immense,” goaltender Braden Holtby said. “You can see that, how much he meant to our team in this run. As far as growth, I think he’s grown steadily, but I think he’s been pretty good for a long time. He’s been really good for a long time. I think this year it just showed through a bit more because we just forced him to play more.”

The return of Carlson is the first big move the team has made to retain the core of its Cup-winning squad.

Coach Barry Trotz resigned after he and the organization failed to agree to terms on a new contract. Trotz has since been named the head coach of the New York Islanders.nfl jerseys cheap china

Washington also traded goaltender Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Brooks Orpik to the Colorado Avalanche. Grubauer began the playoffs as the team’s starting goalie before yielding to Holtby. Orpik, 37, was an NHL-best plus-17 in the playoffs this season.

Self-described ‘pretty boring guy’ Rasmus Dahlin hits the ice for Buffalo

No more than an hour after completing his introductory news conference in Buffalo on Monday, the NHL’s No. 1 draft pick had already changed into a yellow Sabres practice uniform and, with stick in hand, was on his way to hit the ice with a number of fellow prospects.

Finally, after a monthlong pre-draft process of interviews, testing and cross-country travel that culminated in hearing his name called first from the podium in Dallas on Friday, Dahlin was back in his element.

“I used to play some golf and hang out with friends, but, yeah, I love to play hockey and that’s my 100 percent thing I usually do,” the 18-year-old Swedish defenseman said. “I’m a pretty boring guy.”cheap nfl authentic jerseys

Off the ice, maybe.

On the ice, Dahlin is considered anything but boring with a heads-up, smooth-skating and play-making style that has already drawn comparisons to elite Swedish defensemen such as Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson and former Detroit Red Wings star Nicklas Lidstrom.93

In Buffalo, he’s already captured the imagination of a win-starved base of fans, many of whom started submitting orders for Dahlin’s No. 26 Sabres jersey moments after he formally pulled one on to close the news conference.

And yet, amid the buzz Dahlin has generated since the Sabres won the NHL draft lottery in April, it’s unrealistic to presume one player alone can turn around a franchise that has finished last in three of the past five years, not made the playoffs since 2011 and not won a playoff series since 2007.

“I don’t actually think that way,” Dahlin said of whether he feels the weight of expectations on his 6-foot-2, 181-pound frame. “I’ll bring everything I can to this team and, yeah, try to win hockey games. That’s what I think about.”

General manager Jason Botterill was quick to interject once Dahlin completed his answer.

“He doesn’t need to be the savior,” Botterill said, before listing the talented young group of players already on Buffalo’s roster, including forward Jack Eichel.cheap nfl jerseys from china

“Look, we certainly have to have better results on the ice,” he said. “But we’re certainly excited to bring Rasmus into our core group here and how they can grow together.”

Bolts excited, prepared for Eastern Conference Final Game 7

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been in this situation before, Game 7 of a Conference Final with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line.

The Lightning have made it to the Eastern Conference Final three of the last four seasons and five times total in franchise history. Every one of those Conference Final series has gone to a seventh game.nfl jerseys online

This current group of Bolts is 1-1 in Conference Final Game 7s. They won in 2015, defeating the New York Rangers on the road at Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers had never lost a Game 7 in franchise history.290

They were on the other end a year later in Pittsburgh, the Penguins prevailing 2-1 en route to winning their first of two-consecutive Stanley Cups.

Asked what’s going through his head as the Lightning wrapped up morning skate Wednesday at AMALIE Arena, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said it best: excitement.

“This is one of the best sporting events you can be part of I think is a Game 7, especially this time of year. Not too many people thought we were going to be here after going down 0-2 in the series. (Washington) played very desperate last game and forced a Game 7, and here we are. It’s something you embrace, something you dream of. We’re one with away from getting to the Finals. It’s very exciting.”

The Lightning certainly own the advantage in experience over the Capitals when it comes to Conference Final Game 7s. The Caps haven’t gone this deep into the season since 1998 when they advanced to the Stanley Cup Final but were swept by the Steve Yzerman-led Detroit Red Wings.where to buy authentic nfl jerseys

“Your mindset changes, that’s for sure,” Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said when asked if the Bolts’ previous experience can help them. “Your nerves are a lot less. There’s always a little nerves there knowing it’s a Game 7, an elimination game. I think if you’re not used to it, it could be a little bit of an overwhelming experience leading up to the game. So you’re definitely a lot calmer and you try to rub that off on the younger guys too and let them know that it is another game. Obviously it’s a big stage, everything’s highlighted, but enjoy the moment. Not everybody gets to play a Game 7 in their career, especially in the Eastern Conference Final. So enjoy the moment, embrace it and go out there and have fun and play the way we can.”

The Lightning’s recent near misses fuel the current run according to defenseman Victor Hedman. Tampa Bay held a 2-1 lead in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final versus Chicago but lost the final three games – the first time all season they lost three in a row — to fall in Game 6. A year later, the Lightning held a 3-2 lead in the 2016 Eastern Conference Final over Pittsburgh but failed to close out the Penguins on home ice in Game 6 and were eliminated two nights later in Game 7.